Phi Phi cats “getting all the help they need” after plight goes viral

Thousands of cats stranded on Thailand’s famous tourist island of Koh Phi Phi due to the Covid-19 pandemic are being rescued after their story went viral this week, an administrator of the Facebook page set up to help them told Thai Enquirer on Friday.

“Ever since local media picked up the story on Thursday, we have received countless donations and support,” said Kanya Pakdirakpong, a retailer and resident of Phi Phi island and admin of the Facebook page “แมวติดเกาะ พีพี Phi Phi Island’s cats” (Cats stranded on Phi Phi Island). “It’s safe to say that all the cats are now in good hands.”

Just this week Thai social and news media blew up after news broke that thousands upon thousands of domestic cats had been abandoned on Phi Phi Island, leaving many citizens wondering about their safety and well-being. Cat lovers across the country responded immediately with comments and support, according to local media.

Since the pandemic hit last year many people working on the island as well as foreigners have fled the island and returned home, leaving their cats behind, said Kanya. “So there has been an increase of cats being stranded and abandoned since last year,” she explained. “But it turned worse during the latest wave of the pandemic, which literally has left the island deserted, with thousands and thousands of cats abandoned.”

Fortunately, island residents are mostly “cat lovers”, said Kanya, so everyone has been trying to help these cats as much as they can. But money and resources have been short.

“It was not until a reporter from a local media decided to report on the story, and it immediately blew up,” said Kanya. “Now, we have received so many donations that it’s safe to say the cats are all going to be alright.”

The Department of Livestock Development has now also contacted the island, and are now on their way to getting all the cats neutered, added Kanya. 

“We have received enough donations at this point,” said Kanya.

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